Pre-Christmas exams cause student protest


Students who lost class time because of the ASTI dispute have walked out of a Wexford secondary school in protest at being asked to sit pre-Christmas exams.

About 45 Leaving Certificate students left their classrooms in the Christian Brothers' School on Tuesday after they were told the exams would go ahead. They had asked that normal classes be scheduled to make up for time lost as a result of the dispute.

About 20 students were continuing yesterday with a protest outside the building.

A spokesman for the students, who asked not to be named, said they wished to draw attention to the fact that valuable class time was being lost and there was a need for serious negotiations to bring the pay dispute to an end.

"Obviously we can't go and talk to the ASTI so we felt we had no option but to do something in our own school," he said.

He added the students had approached the school principal, Mr Frank Duke, about having the exams cancelled a fortnight ago. Teachers had discussed the matter but decided the tests should go ahead.

"We want normal classes. A number of days have been lost already. They're vital days and it only looks like it's going to get worse," he said It is understood the school has about 70 Leaving Certificate students. Mr Duke could not be contacted for comment.